GOVERNMENT forces have launched pursuit operations against a group of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels responsible in the killing of an unarmed “Bagani” in the province of Davao del Norte.

Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Banagan, commander of the Army’s 60th Infantry Battalion, said the pursuit operation is in coordination with the police of Kapalong, Davao del Norte.

Bunagan identified the victim as Roger Bato, 31, of Kapalong municipality. Bato was a Bagani -- a tribal warrior responsible for the security of their community and ancestral domain.

Bunagan said Bato was with two other persons attending their farm at Sitio Tagbalyaw when around 40 NPA rebels arrived and opened fire, resulting in the victim’s death.

Bato’s companions, whose identities were withheld, escaped unscathed. (Bong Garcia/Sunnex)